By Pramod Kumar
The cooperative move-ment has always been an important and effective instrument in making the people self-reliant. ?With the slogan bina sanskar, nahin sahakar, bina sahakar nahin uddhar, the Sahakar Bharati has been working in the coopera-tive sector for the last 20 years to develop a team of dedicated and cooperative workers all over the country. It has today carved a respectable place in the cooperative sector. Wherever it started work, it has not only reformed the cooperative system but also won the people'strust,? said Dr Avinash Acharya, national president of Sahakar Bharati. He was speaking at a conference organised by its Delhi unit to celebrate hundred years of the Cooperative Act, 1904 and the birth centenary of Shri Madhav Godbole, an important pillar of the cooperative movement. It was Godbole who, by founding the Sangli Urban Cooperative Bank in 1932, gave a new direction to the cooperative movement in the country.
Advising the workers to spread the cause of water resource management on a large scale all over the country, Dr Acharya urged them to strengthen, culturalise and reform the cooperative movement. ?Wherever there are shortcomings in the sector or the water sources are being polluted by some vested interests by indulging in corruption or any such action, we have to reach there and clean the system,? he asserted. He pointed out that a total of 24 social welfare programmes including provision of ambulance, hearse, school, colleges, libraries, old age homes, etc. were being looked after by the Jalgaon Janata Sahakari Bank Ltd that has branches in different parts of the country. Dr Achraya is also chairman of the Bank. He pointed out that today the Sahakar Bharati has its branches in 23 states.
Dr D.P. Neb, senior consul-tant of National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI), described the cooperative movement as the only alternative in this age of globlisation, privatisation and liberalisation. Dr R.S. Khanna, senior officer of the Gujarat Cooperative Marketing Federation (GCMF), emphasised on the importance of cooperative power and expressed the confidence that the cooperative movement would play an important role in developing India as a world-class economic power. Suresh Bindal, the founder of the Indraprastha Cooperative Housing Federation (ICHF), spoke on the new Delhi Cooperative Act that came into force on April 5, 2004.
Rohatas Singh, president Sahakar Bharati, Delhi, provided details of various programmes and projects run by the Sahakar Bharati in Delhi. He pointed out that the Sahakar Bharati, Delhi, had extended a helping hand to the needy and the lower sections of the society like rickshaw pullers, etc. Sanjay Gupta, Delhi state general secretary, called upon the workers to come forward to strengthen the coopera-tive movement. Sunil Gupta, organising secretary of Delhi, opposed the Reserve Bank of India'sbiased policies for cooperative banks and the new Banking Regulation Act. Shri Hastimalji, Akhil Bharatiya Sampark Pramukh of RSS, who is also a guiding force behind the Sahakar Bharati, also attended the function.